I’ve found the Agile Development community has a lot in common with the user-centered design community, and their methods — especially the spirit of them — is closely aligned. In case you haven’t been following their evolution, many different methods from Scrum to Extreme Programming sprang up and, seeing commonalities among them, the founders came together to write the Agile Manifesto and form the Agile Alliance. Soon project managers caught the bug, adopted the practics and just recently formed the The Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN) which incidentally is structured much like the Information Architecture Institute.
The APLN’s core principles reaffirm the human-centeredness and agility of their predecessors:
In order to consistently deliver successful results, great project leaders embrace the following practices:
- Relentlessly Focus on Value. Focus efforts on generating organizational value rather than managing tasks.
- Be Situational Specific. Use situationally specific strategies, not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Manage Uncertainty. Manage uncertainty through client focused collaborative exploration and proaction.
- Continuously Align to Changing Situations. Choose strategies for leading within a dynamic environment.
- Lead with Courage. Confront reality with conviction and a dedication to purpose.
- Build Strategies that Leverage People. Challenge team members with opportunities to grow professionally.
- Design Strategies Based on Teamwork. Devlop and sustain a collaborative team environment.
- Communication Through Immediate and Direct Feedback. Maintain control through feedback, not prescriptive plans.